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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
M&S voted Britain's 'top brand'
Marks & Spencer model
M&S's Per Una clothing range has been a success with consumers
Marks & Spencer may have incurred the wrath of spurned retail tycoon Philip Green - but the company remains a firm favourite with the British public.

The High Street icon has been voted top retail brand in research carried out by the Superbrands Council.

The nation's other favourite brands were Gillette, British Telecom, Duracell, Heinz and Jaguar cars.

Sports presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker also won an award for his Walkers crisps TV adverts.

Celebrity endorsement

Marks & Spencer's success in the poll of UK consumers will come as a welcome boost for the company's board, which faces the task of convincing shareholders that it was right to reject Mr Green's 9.1bn ($16.9bn) takeover approach.

Celebrity endorsement helped Gillette - which is promoted by England football team captain David Beckham - come top in the clothing, household and healthcare product category.

Gary Lineker in a Walkers crisps advert
Gary Lineker has been criticised for promoting fatty foods

However, the Superbrands survey revealed that consumers were more influenced by a company's environmental policy than celebrity endorsement of its products.

Despite recent criticism for promoting crisps, Gary Lineker's Walkers adverts were the consumers' favourite in the food and drink category.

"Competitive advantage"

Dove's 'Real Women' advertising campaign and adverts for Tesco featuring Prunella Scales were other consumer favourites.

Heinz, Duracell, and Tesco were the brands consumers would miss most if they were no longer available, according to the Superbrands survey.

Jaguar cars, Virgin Atlantic and Duracell were voted the three brands consumers would most like to work for.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands Council, said: "Brands are still vital in the eyes of consumers and in the long-term give real competitive advantage, for example we have seen that consumers are still happy to pay a premium for their favourite brand."

Mr Cheliotis said: "This is great news for all of the Superbrands, especially those under short-term pressure like Marks & Spencer."

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